May 13, 2013
- Good value
- Built-in TV remote repeater
- Bluetooth wireless connectivity
- Very good sound quality
- Unique design may not be liked by all
- One-line display makes menus difficult to navigate
A sound bar and subwoofer system is always a good buy for owners of an HDTV looking to add to their home entertainment system. For around $300, the Sony HT-CT260 performs very well with good sound quality, a wireless subwoofer and Bluetooth connectivity.
The design of the Sony HT-CT260 isn't the typical tube but rather a hexagonal shape that is definitely unique. Some may not like this design, so you'll probably want to take a look at it in person before you buy. It is 4-inches tall, which means that it might block your TV's remote sensor. Sony includes a fix for this problem should it arise with a remote signal repeater. It receives your TV's remote signal and repeats it in the rear.
Sony includes a wireless subwoofer that is actually fairly small compared to other similar sound bar systems. It does require power, so it'll need to be placed near a power outlet.
The included remote control is rather basic and includes controls for both the sound bar and the TV itself. While we think most people will not use many of the controls on the remote, it is still good to include them.
For connectivity, you get optical, coaxial and analog mini jack inputs. Because of the lack of HDMI, you cannot use the sound bar to switch between devices. So you will need to rely on your HDTV to switch between your connected devices (cable TV box, video game console, DVD player, etc.). The best way to get HD-quality sound is to connect it via optical digital audio to your HDTV.
For wireless connectivity from a smart phone, the HT-CT260 has built-in Bluetooth. This allows you to play music straight from your phone without any wires, including streaming Pandora (or another streaming music service) on your phone to your sound bar. With Bluetooth, there is some audio quality loss, but nothing too noticeable in the long run.
To get everything setup, you do need to plug in the wireless receivers into both the subwoofer and sound bar. Usually these are included within the devices, but once they're plugged into each device, you're good to go. On the front of the sound bar, there is an on/off button and a one-line digital display. As the display is small and only shows one line of text, navigating the sound bar's menu system to adjust settings is a little cumbersome.
Sound quality overall was very good out-of-the-box. We did adjust the bass a little higher for our liking and got good results, especially considering the subwoofer's small footprint. Audio quality while watching Skyfall on Blu-ray was extremely good and sounded crisp. It definitely has enough power to fill a medium-sized room no problem. At loud volumes, quality did diminish and sounded "rough".
Recent tweets mentioning Sony Ht-ct260: